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Thread: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

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    Registered User proppastie's Avatar
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    Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Can I use a homemade or out of date whole airplane parachute in an "Experimental" aircraft or part 103 aircraft. The para-motor are not a certified chute. What is the realistic life of a re-pack, why do we have to re-pack a chute?

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    You going to test the home made one? Can I watch?

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Since they are not a mandated item, I would assume they would not forbid it. I would not want an untested chute as my main option, but as a last resort with both wings missing, maybe.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by proppastie View Post
    Can I use a homemade or out of date whole airplane parachute in an "Experimental" aircraft or part 103 aircraft....
    I don't know of any regulation that says you can't, but the bigger question is, why would you want to?

    It's like the old Shoei motorcycle helmet ad: "Sure, get at $35 helmet. If you've got a $35 head."

    I know "real" backup parachutes are expensive. If you feel you need one, take the time to save up for one that's worth your life.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Pastie, Not laughing at you, but his comment is funny!!
    There is always a comedian in the group.
    As to your question, I would bet the Feds won't accept anything out of date.
    Can you fly if your bi-annual is out? Just don't get caught! The airplane doesn't know if your current or not!!
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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by proppastie View Post
    Can I use a homemade or out of date whole airplane parachute in an "Experimental" aircraft or part 103 aircraft. The para-motor are not a certified chute. What is the realistic life of a re-pack, why do we have to re-pack a chute?
    Yes, there is no mandate to have a current repack in either operation. Now if you are wearing a parachute in a homebuilt because you're performing an operation where a parachute is required by operating FAR, a current repack would be mandatory.

    Repack is needed after removing chute for inspection. Like giving a plane an annual inspection. The rule originated back in the days of organic parachute materials like silk and cotton shroud lines. Manmade materials are less likely to deteriorate but still the only way to know for sure odds will be in your favor when the chute is needed is by visual inspection. Can certainly go much longer with modern parachute materials than what was practical with organic chute materials.
    “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” - Mark Twain

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Turd Ferguson View Post
    Yes, there is no mandate to have a current repack in either operation.

    Repack is needed after removing chute for inspection. That originated back in the days of organic parachute materials like silk. The manmade materials are less likely to deteriorate but still the only way to know for sure odds will be in your favor when the chute is needed is by visual inspection. Can certainly go much longer with modern parachute materials than what was practical with organic chute materials.
    Rubber bands, used to hold the suspension lines in place, can age, especially if they have gotten hot. Newer designs may not have that issue. RiggerRob?


    BJC

    edit. I am referring to personal parachutes, not whole-airplane parachutes.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by BJC View Post
    Rubber bands, used to hold the suspension lines in place, can age, especially if they have gotten hot. Newer designs may not have that issue.
    and the function of the rubber bands is somewhat important to the whole operation as that's what provides a staged deployment and keeps things from becoming a tangled mess when you yank the handle, lol
    “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” - Mark Twain

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Your old parachute migh still work, provided it was originally designed to softly land an airplane the same weight and speed as your new airplane.

    Inspection and repack cycles were written back in the middle of the last century when no on expected a silk parachute to last more than 30 days before it needed to be dried and inspected.
    After nylon parachutes dominated the market - during the 1960s - the United States Parachute Association petitioned the FAA to extend I&R cycles to 60 days and later 120 days.
    By the turn of the century, most first world nations had gone to a 180 inspection cycle, so FARs were adjusted to require parachutes to have been inspected within the last half year. In practice, this means that most recreational skydivers and pilots get their 'chute inspected once a year. Brighter pilots schedule parachute inspections when their airplanes are in for their annual inspections in the spring-time.
    Pilots with poorer planing skills prefer the: "mad rush the week before the Reno Air Races" or "mad rush the week before Oshkosh" or "made rush before the next aerobatic competition "......
    Annual inspections on parachutes serve the same function as annual inspections on airframes: detect rust, fraying, chaffing, chewing (by rodents) before damage threatens lives.
    Rubber bands deteriorate the quickest and are useless after 2 years in the California desert. As another poster mentioned, rubber bands are important for deploying the parachute in the correct sequence.

    As for service life of parachutes ..... um ...... standards vary. Many young skydiving riggers refuse to pack any parachute older than themselves or older than 20 years. Part of this motivation is the notion that skydiving parachutes experienced a revolution in materials and design around 1990. There were also some bad batche of canopy fabric woven during the 1980s.
    Emergency parachutes evolved slower, but only a few PEPs are airworthy after 20 .... maybe 25 years ...... of regular use.
    You can extend the life of a parachute by storing it out of direct sunlight, keeping it clean and dry, etc.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    I think the decision to resort to the use of an out of date parachute is much easier when it is a whole plane parachute vs leaving the plane with a backpack parachute.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Did not know about the rubber bands, so that part makes sense, I see a 5yr or 6yr re-pack on some Ballistic Chutes, but I do have to wonder if there is any data to back up that span.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by proppastie View Post
    Did not know about the rubber bands, so that part makes sense, I see a 5yr or 6yr re-pack on some Ballistic Chutes, but I do have to wonder if there is any data to back up that span.
    The Cirrus chute repack interval is 10 yrs
    “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” - Mark Twain

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Ballistic Recovery Chutes have longer inspection cycles because they are sealed and rarely have to worry about moisture or dust.
    Another issue is that many of them are pressure-packed and only the BRS factory has the specialized tools "to get them back in the bag/cylinder."
    The third factor is the explosive charges that have an 8 to 10 year service life, most skydiving riggers are afraid to touch any explosive devices, so they need to be replaced at the factory.
    Finally, old explosives become "unpredictable." Good luck finding replacement explosive cartridges for any parachute more than 30 years old!

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Reminds me of the movie Catch 22 where there was a IOU in the parachute pack. Dont remember if it was in the book. I would at least have it packed once fresh before I would break the rules.

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    Re: Whole Airplane Parachute in "Experimental" Aircraft

    Interesting stuff... as a thought experiment.... if the Cirrus has a 10 year re-pack rocket and chute...and a canister ultra lite chute has 6 year chute and 10 year rocket, is it reasonable to think the chute re-pack in the ultra lite unit can be extended?
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